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January 1, 2018: The New Year: My Big, Fat Dispatch

We rang in the New Year last night by going outside and cleaning the pens and tending to the horses. Pete said it sounded like a war zone. This was most apt. Today it was much quieter, the revelers were nursing hangovers. Not me. Not Pete though he did visit our neighbor Jim and they greeted the New Year in their own way.

It was a really good day – if the other 364 follow suit, it will be a really good year. Pete said that he had heard that others are thinking similarly. Maybe things will also change politically. In this way, we are under a very dark cloud. I sometimes wonder if people, when Hitler was in power, then turned a blind eye to what was going on, or just accepted it for what it was. So much badness – any time I



think or hear about the Arctic Wildlife Refuge being opened up for drilling I get both angry and depressed.

On the home front, things are much better. My organizational work has paid off – things are easier to find, and I am not wasting as much time looking for things. I also determined that this year, like last year, my New Year’s resolution is to buy as few books as possible. I do want to get the Best American Essays that I am missing. Otherwise, I have books on hand that are must-reads.

Today we went for a ride with our good friend Dan LeMay. He brought over his Tennessee Walker, Rowdy, a large, lanky chestnut mare with a blaze on her face. She, like Rio, is more active (that’s a far better word than reactive) than our horses, but she has a really nice disposition. She also frets – I could tell this because she has worry lines above her brow.

We rode our trails, with each horse leading a portion of the way. Raudi and I lead on Siggi’s Trail and Jim’s Road. Way better than the other day when I rode with the posse in terms of her being more energetic when we were out front. And at the same time, she was quite manageable. We also worked on stand, with me on and off of her. Her standing while I’m mounted – this is my problem – I just get really nervous. We did great today, though. On the final stretch home we played the whoa and ho game while walking – all the horses did well.

Hrimmi –in between Pete and Dan on Rowdy, cantered to catch up with Raudi. This was a serious breach of trail etiquette – Dan was bareback and his pad slipped. And I was concerned my Raudi was going to take off. But Hrimmi did slow to a walk when she caught up with Raudi and me.

Dan is a very good rider. He’s considering doing the CTR. I hope that we can continue to ride together. And I hope my friend Heather will be able to join us ☺.

I think the reason Raudi and I did so well today was because I did my body awareness work beforehand. I felt really good after just a 45 minute session. I can’t help but wonder if I subconsciously don’t want to feel good and this is why I don’t do more of it. My desire to have good rides is going to override this.

Got all the horses’ pulse, temperature, respiration, and gut sounds recorded. And I wrote down my GPS information in my log. And I gave Tinni his arnica and also did acupressure on his eye. He was very chipper on our daily walkabout.

It was getting dark when Dan was loading Rowdy back into his trailer. We stopped and talked to our neighbor Kirby who was coming up road on his fat tire bicycle. We talked bicycle for a long time, and then he let me try out his bicycle.

Wow. I had been mulling over the idea of getting one of these bicycles for winter riding. Now, after the trailer is paid off, I am going to do this. I am going to name this bicycle Hestar, the English translation of the Icelandic word being – horse. My plan is to use the bicycle for recon – a way of checking out area trails for riding. And I am going to take Tyra with me on these rides.

This is going to be good – I will again be both a member of the bicycling and the horseback riding communities. And I will again get in good shape.

It is shaping up to be an excellent New Year.

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